[26] He returned to the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1925 as a company commander[26] and was promoted to major in July 1925. Tapped to take command of the Eighth Army, he earned renown for his part in the first major Allied land victory at El Alamein, Egypt, in 1942. [74], The conquest of Libya was essential for airfields to support Malta and to threaten the rear of Axis forces opposing Operation Torch. [169] As it was, Simonds made only slow progress in October 1944 during the fighting in the Battle of the Scheldt, although he was praised by Copp for imaginative and aggressive leadership who managed to achieve much, despite all of the odds against him. Montgomery attended St Paul's School and then the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from which he was almost expelled for rowdiness and violence. [26] Betty Carver had two sons in their early teens, John and Dick, from her first marriage. Bishop Montgomery considered it his duty to spend as much time as possible in the rural areas of Tasmania and was away for up to six months at a time. [173] Reflecting Antwerp's importance, the Germans spent the winter of 1944–45 firing V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets at it in an attempt to shut down the port, and the German offensive in December 1944 in the Ardennes had as its ultimate objective the capture of Antwerp. [103] Epsom had forced further German forces into Caen but all through June and the first half of July Rommel, Rundstedt, and Hitler were engaged in planning for a great offensive to drive the British into the sea; it was never launched and would have required the commitment of a large number of German forces to the Caen sector.[104]. Returning home in 1937, he was given command of the 9th Infantry Brigade with the temporary rank of brigadier. As a result the Allies caused the enemy staggering losses in men and materials". [99] At Villers Bocage on 14 June, the British lost twenty Cromwell tanks to five Tiger tanks led by SS Obersturmführer Michael Wittmann in about five minutes. Though he was born into a life of privilege, he dedicated himself to public service. [95] By contrast, the "American school" argued that Montgomery's initial "master plan" was for the 21st Army Group to take Caen at once and move his tank divisions into the plains south of Caen, to then stage a breakout that would lead the 21st Army Group into the plains of northern France and hence into Antwerp and finally the Ruhr. It says much for his personality that Montgomery found others to agree with him, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Known to be difficult to work with, "Monty" was nevertheless exceptionally popular with the British public. [147], General Eisenhower took over Ground Forces Command on 1 September, while continuing as Supreme Commander, with Montgomery continuing to command the 21st Army Group, now consisting mainly of British and Canadian units. [143] In view of the slow Canadian advance, Patton requested permission to take Falaise, but was refused by Bradley on 13 August, which prompted much controversy with many historians arguing that Bradley lacked aggression and that Montgomery should have overruled Bradley. Over 30,000 prisoners of war were taken,[80] including the German second-in-command, General von Thoma, as well as eight other general officers. After an initial meeting in the early 1950s, Montgomery met Dayan again in the 1960s to discuss the Vietnam War, which Dayan was studying. [53] He returned in July 1939 to Britain, suffering a serious illness on the way, to command the 3rd (Iron) Infantry Division. [73] He was confirmed in the permanent rank of lieutenant-general in mid-October. "[201], After the war, Montgomery became the Commander-in-chief (C-in-C) of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), the name given to the British Occupation Forces, and was the British member of the Allied Control Council. Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery, in full Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, of Hindhead byname Monty, (born Nov. 17, 1887, London, Eng.—died March 24, 1976, near Alton, Hampshire), British field marshal and one of … The next two years he spent retraining the British army, with utmost rigor, in southern England.

Montgomery was thus caught in a dilemma – the British Army needed to be seen to be pulling at least half the weight in the liberation of Europe, but without incurring the heavy casualties that such a role would inevitably produce. Speaking subsequently to a British writer while himself a prisoner in Britain, the former German commander of the 5th Panzer Army, Hasso von Manteuffel spoke of Montgomery's leadership during the battle of the Bulge using almost the same words: The operations of the American First Army had developed into a series of individual holding actions. [110], On 7 July, Montgomery began Operation Charnwood with a carpet bombing offensive that turned much of the French countryside and the city of Caen into a wasteland. of the Army – Office of Military History; 1947; p. 439, Alanbrooke, pp. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. [26] He returned to the Western Front in early-1916 as a general staff officer in the 33rd Division and took part in the Battle of Arras in April–May 1917. [108] By the middle of July Caen had not been taken, as Rommel continued to prioritise prevention of the break-out by British forces rather than the western territories being taken by the Americans. It is no wonder that Monty's real high ability is not always realised". This led to an exasperated Eisenhower telling Montgomery that the question was not the command arrangement but rather his (Montgomery's) ability and willingness to obey orders. Viscount Montgomery's ribbons as they would appear today, not including campaign or other awards. "[68] Montgomery reinforced the 30 miles (48 km) long front line at El Alamein, something that would take two months to accomplish. He also took part in the Battle of Passchendaele in late-1917 before finishing the war as chief of staff of the 47th (2nd London) Division. [121], If the British could take the Borguebus Ridge, the way to the plains of northern France would be wide open, and potentially Paris could be taken, which explains the ferocity with which the Germans defended the Borguebus Ridge.

[85], Montgomery returned to Britain in January 1944. At Méteren, near the Belgian border at Bailleul, he was shot through the right lung by a sniper, during the First Battle of Ypres. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1966. [192] Dempsey wrote on 13 June, that Caen could only be taken by a "set piece assault and we did not have the men or the ammunition for that at the time". Of Bernard's siblings, Sibyl died prematurely in Tasmania, and Harold, Donald and Una all emigrated. There was still £13,000 to pay on a mortgage, a large debt in the 1880s, and Henry was at the time still only an Anglican vicar. Four days after Montgomery took command of the northern flank, the bad weather cleared and the USAAF and RAF[178] resumed operations, inflicting heavy casualties on German troops and vehicles. [38] After Montgomery's death, John Carver wrote that his mother had arguably done the country a favour by keeping his personal oddities—his extreme single-mindedness, and his intolerance of and suspicion of the motives of others—within reasonable bounds long enough for him to have a chance of attaining high command. [61], He renamed his command the South-Eastern Army to promote offensive spirit. Despite selling off all the farms that were at Ballynally, "there was barely enough to keep up New Park and pay for the blasted summer holiday" (i.e., at New Park). Bernard Montgomery (November 17, 1887–March 24, 1976) was a British soldier who rose through the ranks to become one of the most important military leaders of World War II.

Arriving back in Britain, Montgomery became an outspoken critic of the BEF's high command and began a feud with the commander of Southern Command, Lieutenant General Sir Claude Auchinleck. [212], The 1960 paperback edition of Montgomery's memoirs contains a publisher's note drawing attention to that broadcast, and stating that although the reader might assume from Montgomery's text that Auchinleck had been planning to retreat "into the Nile Delta or beyond" in the publisher's view it had been Auchinleck's intention to launch an offensive as soon as the Eighth Army was "rested and regrouped". [216], In retirement Montgomery publicly supported apartheid after a visit to South Africa in 1962, and after a visit to China declared himself impressed by the Chinese leadership. [188], The British high command were not only concerned with winning the war and defeating Germany, but also with ensuring that it retained sufficient influence in the post-war world to govern global policy. [197], One incident that illustrated this occurred during the North African campaign when Montgomery bet Walter Bedell Smith that he could capture Sfax by the middle of April 1943. It was his refusal to engage in premature and piecemeal counter-attacks which enabled the Americans to gather their reserves and frustrate the German attempts to extend their breakthrough. Fourth of nine children in a clerical Irish family of modest means, his early life suffered from a domineering mother. I positioned British troops as reserves behind the First and Ninth Armies until such time as American reserves could be created.[180].

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